Lair of the Geek

Bringing you all the geek stuff

Author: Mercedes Lackey
Publisher: TitanBooks
Price: £7.99
Review by: Emsy

The very essence of Foundation, the first instalment of Lackey’s Collegium Chronicles is fundamentally a very enjoyable read. It is a very ‘from rags to riches’ tale, and reminded me very much of Rowling’s ‘The Philosopher’s Stone’ but with a much more lovable protagonist.

Mags is adorable. I often struggle to read a book if I cannot empathise with or do not really like the main character but this was definitely not a problem for ‘Foundation’. Lackey manages to create a heart-warmingly innocent and pure character in Mags and I was rooting for him from the get go.

The language used in the book is fairly laid- back and simple which makes for easy reading and would be ideal for any teenager. Thirteen-year-old me would have loved this book. That isn’t to say that old me didn’t (because I did), but I think that unless, like me, you are a huge fantasy lover that this series would be aimed at a slightly younger audience. Luckily, I have been sold on anything that contains any form of magic since I could choose my own books at the library so this just swept me away on it’s little journey of wonder and adventure.

Without spoiling the content too much, I was slightly thrown by the premise of telecommunication with horses but by chapter 4 my apprehension was forgotten and I was as accepting of Dallen as I had been of Mags. Dallen is very entertaining, he actually reminds me a of a close personal friend who quite flamboyant and like to be the center of attention which often made me chuckle as I could imagine my friend coming out with some of the same lines.

The one thing I will say is don’t read this book when hungry! The intricate description the many new foods that Mags tastes is just wonderful. I am a huge food person and every time Mags had a meal I had sudden cravings for meat pies with lashings of gravy and spiced cider. Lackey writes in quite a sensory manner and this lends itself to a really easily imagined environment.

I am aware that like Pratchett, many of Lackey’s books take place in the same fantasy world, that of Valdemar, however as this is the first of her books I have ever read, I cannot comment on how well this is incorporated within the text and whether there are any hidden gems for followers of her work. What I can comment on is that she makes no assumptions and at no point was I confused as to what was being talked about. Every aspect of the book was explained as if it was a completely independent story. Obviously part of this was due to the introduction of a previously oblivious Mags into this magical world, but it still meant that I was never lost.

All in all, I really liked this book and will be reading the rest of The Collegium Chronicles and my interest has been piqued enough for me to want to read some of her other Valdemar-based texts. I would recommend this to anyone who wants a light read about a magical world and strongly recommend for any teen who likes a good story.

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